The World of 1920s and 30s Pedestrian Safety Devices

    Or "people catchers", as they were also known

    2w ago


    Imagine a world where instead of airbags or any safety devices, cars had huge hammocks or slings attached to the front that were designed to catch pedestrians and not kill them in case of a head-on collision. Welcome to the 1930s.


    The city of Berlin was the first to introduce such death traps to the public, back in the glorious year of 1927. This so-called "Pedestrian Safety Device" looked like a giant safety net strapped to the front of a car. Not only was this an inherently bad idea for pedestrians, but it also made the situation worse for drivers too. Since it was so massive, it limited the driver's field of vision and made maneuverability on tight streets a living hell.

    Fast forward to 1939 Sheffield and we have what looks like a canopy snowplow on the front of a car. The two engineers who came up with the idea must have had fewer peanuts and more brain cells in their head because they made the device able to be deployed only when needed. Of course, that didn't make it any less ludicrous, but the idea was there. The driver had to pull a level next to the steering wheel, and the pedestrian would be "saved" to some degree.

    Not convinced yet? You shouldn't be. Regardless, here's a video of those engineers demonstrating their faith in the device in a video probably narrated by Ben Welham's great grandfather.


    Shoutout to Roadkill Customs for showcasing these wonderful inventions that thankfully never made it to the mainstream market. How do you feel about these safe death traps? Let us know in the comments below!

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    Comments (16)

    • Bring these back!

        17 days ago
    • Back in the days when cars were given love. Forward wind to the present day where governments are trying to find ways to systematically remove them from our roads. We must not let them prevail! Love the inventiveness of these designs, with modern technology they could even be powered by sensors!

        12 days ago
    • I like the idea, add some of today’s technology and it’s feasible

        13 days ago
    • If this means that we can have pop-up headlights back...

        13 days ago
    • Or on self driving cars, cause they have a tendency to swerve

        12 days ago


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